The Ideas Behind the Idea Bank

I am not an original thinker.

I borrow other people’s ideas, mix them with others’, change them to suit me, and improve on them… until I toss them out for a new idea.

That’s pretty much how my idea bank came to be.

What is an idea bank?

An idea bank is a repository for ideas.

  • I deposit ideas into the idea bank whenever I get them.
  • I withdraw ideas whenever I need them, such as when I need to write.

Those withdrawals are the substance of my blog posts. It’s a great way to ensure I always have a  topic in the pipeline, and so I won’t forget about something worth sharing. Right now even if I don’t come up with any new topic ideas, I should have enough blogging content to post twice weekly for the next year.

It’s also a great way to gather the little notes I have scattered all around the place in a desperate attempt to NOT forget an idea.

It is in no way original though.

1. For example, when Sacha Chua suggested to,

Turn your ideas into small questions , then answer those.

Any idea I got led to questions. Answering those questions led to more questions, and more questions, and more. It got me thinking that I needed a place to put them all.

2. James Clear would write an entry every Monday and Thursday*, as a way of committing to a system.

I wanted to enforce a similar discipline on myself, but also ensure I always had something to write about.

3. The single greatest inspiration would be this screenshot of Sean Wes’ Wunderlist**:


My OC heart did a little jump.

I immediately knew I wanted something like it, even though at the time I didn’t know quite what for.

1 + 2 + 3 =
My idea bank. It’s where I:
– list and categorize ideas as I get them.
– flesh out big ideas into smaller ones.
– grab an idea when it’s time to post.

I use Wunderlist as I find its the most efficient tool, even though technically it’s meant for task management (I use a separate tool for that). I end up abusing the notes field as that’s where I do brain dumps or, as per the screenshot, my initial draft.

If you do end up making an idea bank, do let me know how it works out for you.

*He has since reduced this to once a week to produce higher quality content.
**I found out much later that he posted a video with a similar premise here.


5 thoughts on “The Ideas Behind the Idea Bank”

  1. I love your blog posts. How do you get so organised. It’s like you know what to do , which is the exact opposite for me ! What would you suggest I should do everyday to create an idea bank like yours.


    1. Thank you for your kind words Avtar! I’m sort of hardwired to be a planner, which has its own pros and cons. The biggest con being I get anxious when things don’t go according to plan :O

      The key to the idea bank is accessibility. An idea is useless if you forget about it!

      I chose wunderlist because it’s available as an app: I could be grocery shopping, be at work, or even in the bathroom(!)… but when the idea strikes, I grab my phone and drop the idea. Out of my head and into paper (err, app) as soon as possible.

      It doesn’t even have to be an app. A simple notebook works just as well (it worked for da Vinci).

      Also, don’t fish for ideas. If you’ve had a thought, drop it into the bank. If you have a question, drop it into the bank. Later on you can then process these thoughts and questions and flesh it out as a proper idea.


  2. No one is really an original thinker by that logic. What makes you original is your ability to make something interesting out of what’s already been done. Great blog by the way!

    Liked by 1 person

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